Brain decoding in multiple languages: Can cross-language brain decoding work?

Min Xu, Duo Li, Ping Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The approach of cross-language brain decoding is to use models of brain decoding from one language to decode stimuli of another language. It has the potential to provide new insights into how our brain represents multiple languages. While it is possible to decode semantic information across different languages from neuroimaging data, the approach's overall success remains to be tested and depends on a number of factors such as cross-language similarity, age of acquisition/proficiency levels, and depth of language processing. We expect to see continued progress in this domain, from a traditional focus on words and concrete concepts toward the use of naturalistic experimental tasks involving higher-level language processing (e.g., discourse processing). The approach can also be applied to understand how cross-modal, cross-cultural, and other nonlinguistic factors may influence neural representations of different languages. This article provides an overview of cross-language brain decoding with suggestions for future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104922
JournalBrain and Language
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Computational modeling
  • Cross-language brain decoding
  • Multilingualism
  • Multivariate pattern analysis
  • Neural representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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